AFP on tight guard vs terror groups planning to disrupt holidays
MANILA, Dec. 30 (PNA) — As the nation commemorates Rlzal Day, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said it remains on guard to protect the country against possible attacks of terrorist groups.
“The AFP is on guard in support of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to frustrate any possible attempts of terrorist groups to do a repeat of the attack,” said AFP public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo.
Last Wednesday night, still unknown suspects detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) in Hilongos, Leyte, wounding 32 individuals.
Explosions were also reported in North Cotabato wounding six persons also Wednesday night.
“Amidst the backdrop of several explosions elsewhere in the country, the AFP leadership attended the 120th Anniversary of the martyrdom of Dr. Jose Rizal, Friday. We will not allow any threat to dampen this year’s commemorative celebration of Rizal’s example of physical and moral courage,” Arevalo said.
Earlier Friday, representative members of the AFP rendered honors to the country’s national hero in a wreath-laying ceremony presided over by President Rodrigo Duterte at the Rizal Shrine in Luneta Park, Manila.
He was joined by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, AFP chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Eduardo M. Año, other ranking military and government officials.
“Our regular participation in the annual Rizal Day commemoration serves as our undying tribute to the heroism of Dr. Jose Rizal who has unselfishly offered his life in the altar of freedom and democratic space we now enjoy as a nation. A heritage of Filipino nationalism, patriotism, and sacrifice that is worthy of emulation by the youth of the present generation,” Año said.
Falling on a Friday, the Rizal Day celebration marks the start of a long weekend holiday for Filipinos.
The AFP, on the other hand is keen on the security of public places where people usually flock to celebrate.
“Let me take this opportunity to wish, not only for a peaceful Rizal Day celebration, but also for prosperous New Year ahead for every Soldier, Sailor, Marine, Airman, and civilian employee of the AFP, and every Filipino whom we have sworn to protect,” Año said.
“We are, as a nation, beset with the challenges from unscrupulous individuals and groups that are bent to kill, maim, and terrorize our people. The Armed Forces of the Philippines, in tandem with the Philippine National Police, will do its level best to ensure that they will not succeed. That their nefarious and criminal activities— chief of which are illegal drugs and kidnapping for ransom —will be met with superior force and calibrated responses,” the AFP chief said.
“As we usher in the New Year, your AFP wishes to renew its covenant for support with the people as we combat these threats to national, food, and human security. Only through our continuing cooperation and partnership will we be able to win over the forces of evil,” Año added. (PNA)